Educators’ Salaries

Photo Courtesy of

Teaching is one of the hardest professions in the working field. Doctors and surgeons are the hardest. Both put extreme time and effort into their studies and jobs. Both are reliable for people’s lives. Educators to help shape children’s futures and Doctors to help physically fix their future. Then why does their salary differ? Should teachers and administrators get higher pay?

The question was taken to the administration and teachers in New Jersey. A variety of teachers were asked the same set of questions and all answers ranged. Most believed equity is well deserved in the teaching profession. Others believe rank out rules equity. The demand for qualified teachers is increasing all around the country due to the pandemic and continued population of cities and towns. But no matter the circumstances teachers will always be in great need. 

The salary differentiates from each state. The top 5 states for the highest salaries are:

Three charts on teachers' pay in Australia: it starts out OK, but goes downhill pretty quickly

  • New York: $87,543
  • California:  $84,659
  • Massachusetts: $83,622
  • Connecticut: $78,247
  • New Jersey: $76,376

New Jersey makes the top 5 for highest salaries in the country due to high curriculum standards. Now knowing that information let’s dive into one of the high schools in New Jersey; Roxbury High School (RHS). The teachers at Roxbury High School are paid on a salary guide. This guide includes information like certain education levels the educators have, how long they have been teaching, and the number of credits they have.  With teachers being in higher demand, the state is also making it harder for educators to get their licenses.

“Each teacher’s contract has a salary guide, depending on your credentials and degrees the teacher could have. That determines where you are placed on the guide” – Mr. Miller, respected principal of RHS. 

With that information affirmed above, this goes to show that Roxbury takes into the accountability of the teacher’s worth. They will give the teacher the correct amount of recognition on what that educator has accomplished and place them accurately on the guide. Once placed on the guide there is no way of being moved down a peg. Some departments can demand a higher salary and or a higher placement on the guide if they feel that they are overqualified for the position or in higher demand for that specific department. Therefore, they are a harder teacher to find and acquire in the district they can state that a higher salary is warranted. However, the teachers have something to say about the pay.

“No, teaches do not get paid enough. We are asked to bend over backward and work beyond the hours, which we did sign up for, but I do not feel like our salary does us the correct recognition of our hard work.”- Ms. Oster

“When you combine the benefits with what was paid, I would not say we are drastically  underpaid”- Mr. Benbow 

“ No, I don’t think any profession gets paid as much as they should be. However, we do get good benefits called ‘negotiated compensation’ but no it is not in our weekly paycheck but we do have really good benefits.” – Mr. McMichael 

“I respect teachers and the difference they make in the lives of our students. So, I’m not sure they can ever be paid enough”- Dr. Radulic, Superintendent

The Board of Education (BOE) takes into great consideration the benefits of RHS. Including insurance, pensions, loans, and select reimbursements. 

 One way that the teachers can get higher pay is through merit pay. Merit pay is offered bonuses granted by rates during their evaluations. This is a great way for teachers to showcase their skills and prove that they are worth the bonus. However, these rakings can be changed by arbitrarily actions by the teachers to the administrators to change their scores. For a clearer understanding of how these bonuses might impact your overall income, consider exploring ways to convert hourly to annual salary.

RHS teacher’s statements on ‘ if you could receive a salary that is equivalent to another profession what would it be and why is it warranted. 

“ If I could receive the salary of any profession I would take all that professional athletes to make and divide it up amongst all the teachers around the world. We pay athletes millions of dollars to be physically lucky enough to be athletically inclined. You could ask any teacher anywhere and they could name at least one teacher that has made an impact on their life at some point, we’re asked to do all of these things that are extremely important in the development of a human being and get looked over by salary while these pro athletes are making multi-million dollars just by making pure entertainment.”- Mr. Benbow

“Teachers are required to shape the future generations. Teachers prepare and educate students for the future. We teach the future, why are we paid the least? Doctors and surgeons make millions, who do you think got them there? Who do you think taught them? Who do you think prepared them for success? Teachers. ”- Anonymous 

“I would equate it to a doctor or lawyer. As teachers, we are educating all students to become those jobs that are paid so much. It starts with us, you wouldn’t have lawyers or doctors if it weren’t for educators.”- Ms. Oster

What is stated above goes to show that teachers feel the need for a well-deserved raise. Including the low salary, most teachers pay out of pocket for their classroom materials. Although they have some coverage by the BOE and funding for classroom supplies. Most teachers pay out of pocket to enhance their student’s education further. This just goes to show that teachers are extremely passionate about their job and will do anything to help educate their students and prepare them for further education. Teachers work off the clock, get paid no overtime, however, this is the profession they signed up for. Sure education is a very demanding job and it’s not for everyone. But if you go into education for the money you’re in it for all the wrong reasons. But working off the clock and putting in that extra time to touch up students’ work shows ambition and dedication. Teachers do so much for the students. All educators deserve a raise. 

Education is a very particular profession and not all people have the passion to educate. All teachers know about the salary going into the teaching profession, then why did they choose this career path? They accepted it not for the money but for the sole purpose of educating children. The drive, determination, motivation,m and hope these teachers all have for their students comes from a very special place in their hearts. Teaching is certainly not for everyone and it takes a certain person to become a successful educator. The way teachers are looked at is with praise and accomplishment but their salaries don’t reflect all of the devotion. 

“Teaching is always a challenge but that’s what makes it so exciting.” -Dr. Radulic 

Higher pay is demanded but each teacher is well respected and taken care of by the BOE. 

Respect and honor to all of the educators out in the world, as they have one of the hard jobs on the planet.